5 foods to ditch this yearIf you resolved to lose weight this year, this list of five foods to avoid in 2014 can help:
Breakups suck. Period. Even (especially) when it comes to food. But when it's just not working, ending it is often the healthiest choice. The good news is -- like splitting from a partner -- parting ways with familiar foods gets much easier with time. "First try a day without a certain food," suggests Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, author of The Little Book of Thin: Foodtrainers Plan-It-to-Lose-It Solutions for Every Diet Dilemma. "It can sound very daunting, but when you actually do it, the relationship becomes less important. If you cut something out, you might miss it at first, but you'll feel better which will keep you motivated." If you resolved to lose weight this year, Slayton suggests you consider this list of five foods to avoid in 2014:
It's a bit of a surprise, but nonfat isn't the best choice if you're hoping to shed pounds. "When we remove the fat we get fatter," Slayton says. "We need a little bit of fat to absorb vitamin D, plus when fat is removed, there may be repercussions for acne and fertility. It's really a booby trap when it comes to our diet." Fat is also satiating, so skipping skim dairy products can help keep you full and prevent junk-food cravings.
This comfort food might evoke memories of being a kid -- or a college student -- but that's about all it's good for. High in carbs, heavily processed, and often loaded with added sugars, cold cereals don't have much to offer nutrition-wise, and they're easy to overdo. "It's such an abuse-able food -- you pour a little, then you pour a little more," Slayton says. "You think it's healthy but it's not when you have a bowl the size of your head. Even the good ones aren't that good. The cereal aisle isn't doing anything for you, aside from the oatmeal."
We all know America's bubbly beverage of choice is no health food, but you might figure that everything in moderation is okay. "But do you want to feel moderately good?" asks Slayton. "Regular soda and diet both have their issues. With regular soda, you're getting a huge hit of sugar, and diet options only increase your cravings for sweet stuff -- not to mention the added chemicals."
"Sugar-free." "Non-fat." "Gluten-free." These marketing ploys won't do your diet any favors. "We tend to overeat foods that have a health halo over them," Slayton says. "But whether it's a sugar-free cookie or gluten-free bread, when something is removed from it, that doesn't mean that what's left is healthy." Diet fare tends to be highly processed and therefore unsatisfying, which means we eat more of it. Another diet-food downer: many sugar substitutes can cause gastric distress and bloating.
"Salads are a place where people have the right intentions, but it's not the right choice if you're doing it the wrong way," says Slayton. "You don't have to eat a dry salad; you just have to know what's going in it. When they take out the fat, they don't just use less oil, they also add more sugar." Swap out dressings for vinegars, which provide sweetness without loading up on sugar, and a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil.
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